Text: Angelique van Os | Photography: Henk Bothof, Angelique & archive Carla Sonder.
WakaWaka’s devices are not only responsible for their sustainable operation, the slogan Share the Sun also appeals to us. Because the solar power benches and lights not only contribute something for adventurous travellers, backpackers or festival-goers, they are also useful tools for refugees or communities in remote areas. Like albino people in Kenya. Nurse Carla Sonders was one of the winners of our WakaWaka campaign last year and helps local Albino communities with these lights and chargers, so that people who live completely without electricity still have some light in their dark houses where they cook on open fire. After all, energy is a basic need and that gives access to education, communication and socio-economic development (see her story below).
During my campervan trip in New Zealand I myself experienced the convenience of the WakaWaka Yellow Light, a compact handy light that charges you eight hours in the sun and gets 40 hours of light in return. The lamp has a handy stand so it doesn’t fall over You can also hang it up and there are various light levels on it. Ideal.
For the trip to Botswana and Iceland we brought the WakaWaka Power 10 and I have to say that the device has been in my bag ever since. Even if I have to do a day’s festival report. The battery is compact, but because of its strength (10.000 mAH) it is a bit heavy. Nevertheless, the Power 10 contains enough power to fully charge your smartphone four times. Even your iPad can handle it. The device also has three USB ports, so that several devices can be charged at the same time. I take it with me everywhere: in my backpack during our hikes, next to me on domestic flights, boat trips and in the car. Just remember that it takes one night to fully charge it.
Soon we will also try out the Solar Panel & Link, and you can connect the power bank to it so that it can also be charged via the sun.
Albino people are curious about the operation of the WakaWaka solar lamp. These children can now safely (er) sit around the fire in the evening with a WakaWaka solar lamp nearby. Early 2019 we had a win action with WakaWaka and we gave away a solar light. This went to Carla Sonder, who is unconditionally committed to Albino children and communities that need it, such as these children in Kwale, Kenya.
Carla Sonder (see picture top right, far right) has been visiting Mombasa, Kenya, for almost ten years. As a nurse and operation assistant she uses her knowledge. With the APDK, rehabilitation clinic Carla goes into the bush with a number of other doctors in search of children with, for example, clog feet, schisis and x-legs. Most of the time these children have never seen a doctor and are stumbling or crawling through the earth or hanging on their mother’s back. By having them operated on, they get another chance.
Carla says: “During these rounds I met an albino child. I have studied it and now I work a lot with an albino association in Mombasa. In 2018 we were able to bring around 30 WakaWakas that were donated by people who won the devices through the Postcode Lottery. We have spread these WakaWakas among families with albino children. They live mostly in mud huts and cook in them on open fire. Since they have no electricity gives a WakaWaka light and safety.”
Even though we have only one WakaWaka can donate, we at PureofftheRoad are happy that we can contribute a little something good to the work of Carla.
Through Carla’s weblog you can read more about her experiences and the help she offers to people in Kenya.